There is a sofa centre stage. In the middle of it are sat two children, one boy and one girl, watching t.v. A woman is stood behind the sofa, fluffing the cushions and tidying up the area. She then starts checking a list. The characters in this sketch should be slightly exaggerated.
WIFE (ticking things off as she goes along) Right. Paid. Paid. Tomorrow's lunch made. Children occupied...(she smiles) Thank you Lord, for Sky plus!
The phone rings. The Wife answers.
Hello? No, this is his wife...? Oh, hello, thank you but we're OK. Miserable? Not that I'm aware of...Well you try telling them that. No, no they're quite happy in front of the television...gives me a bit of space, yes. No, honestly, I'm good, I'm not in need of anything. Oh, but I'll tell you what, if you're desperate, have you tried the Jedson's? They're always needing help. Yes, it's quite tragic actually. They're much worse off than us...It's heartbreaking to watch...Yes, it's a shame really because they're only next door...yes it's 873534...I think it's Richard and Julie, but I'm not sure...
CHRISTIAN Honey, I'm home!
WIFE Oh, hang on he's here now, I'll ask him. Christian, darling. Is it Richard and Julie, the couple next door?
CHRISTIAN Richard and Janette, I think. Isn't it? Why? Who's on the phone?
She passes it to him.
Hello?...oh, oh OK. No, no we're good thank you. Couldn't be better. Next door, yes. No I think it's Janette, but don't quote me on that. Yes, we should really, shouldn't we?...OK, anything else? No? Good, good. Yes, yes, jolly good. Bye, bye then. Bye, bye.
He hangs up. His wife heads over to greet him.
WIFE You're just in time, dinner's almost ready. I ordered it 20 minutes ago.
They go to kiss. She turns her head and he gets her cheek. They rub noses, smiling at each other.
WIFE And how was work?
CHRISTIAN Typically uninteresting and wonderfully average, thank you.
WIFE Well, it pays the bills.
CHRISTIAN That's what I keep telling myself. How was your day?
WIFE Well, nothing too interesting, but I did go on a little spree today.
WIFE It was all on essentials don't worry.
She flashes a necklace, a watch, and plays with her hair.
CHRISTIAN Well, you look lovely, dear.
WIFE I know. See, everyone's a winner.
CHRISTIAN Hmm...(turning to his children) And how are my two little one's?
Answer your father.
CHILDREN (smiling) Great, thank you daddy.
They turn back to the t.v.
CHRISTIAN (approaching them) Do you have any idea how much I slightly more than like, yet slightly less than love you both?
CHILDREN We slightly less than love you too, dad.
His wife looks and smiles. He holds her hand.
CHRISTIAN Don't get me started on how much I more than like you too!
WIFE Oh Christian.
The children make disgusted faces and pretend to be sick and then run off. Christian and his Wife laugh a fake hearty laugh as they watch them leave.
CHRISTIAN I knew that would get rid of them.
Beat. The mood changes. Becoming colder.
WIFE A letter arrived for you today.
CHRISTIAN Oh yes?
WIFE Yes, I left it on the side for you.
WIFE Well, aren't you going to read it?
CHRISTIAN Is it important?
WIFE It looks rather official.
She goes for the letter. Christian starts to get undressed.
CHRISTIAN Sounds interesting. Who is it from?
WIFE (examining it) Oh, Christian what have you done now?
WIFE It's says it's a message from the One Who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation...'
CHRISTIAN (not really paying attention...taking off his tie and jacket) Oh, very good. I've not heard from Him in a long time!
WIFE What do you think He wants?
CHRISTIAN I don't know, read it and find out.
WIFE (she starts to read) “I know all the things you do...”
CHRISTIAN (mock horror) Ooooooh spooooky...
His wife laughs.
He never was one to disappoint.
She continues to read.
WIFE 'That you are neither hot nor cold.'
CHRISTIAN (giggling) Eh?
WIFE 'I wish that you were one or the other!'
But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!...'
CHRISTIAN Well, isn't that pleasant?
He heads off-stage.
WIFE Isn't it just! (she continues to read) 'You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire.'
CHRISTIAN (off) Gold that has been what?
WIFE 'Purified by fire'.
Christian enters again wearing a scruffy, dirty vest, and baggy night shorts. He scruffs up his hair. He puts his arm around her and squeezes. Then starts to read over her shoulder.
CHRISTIAN 'Then you will be rich.' What? Richer than we are already?...'Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.'
Pause. They look at each other, then down at themselves, confused.
WIFE It all sounds very abstract.
Christian slumps himself on the sofa.
...'I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.'
WIFE That's what it says.
CHRISTIAN Indifference to what?
WIFE Doesn't say...just says 'turn from your indifference'.
CHRISTIAN Oh right. Fair enough...What time's strictly on? Do you know?
WIFE Oh I'm not sure...let me have a look...
Christian stays, and turns on the t.v...he scratches himself, and picks his nose. Flicking through the channels.
CHRISTIAN No. No. No...900 channels, and never anything on, why do we bother?
WIFE Think of the children, dear.
Christian grunts a response, and continues trying to find a channel. After a while, his wife returns with the t.v. Guide. She now is dressed scruffily. Her hair is matted, and she is wearing an old night gown...
Says it's on at eight o'clock, love.
WIFE Never miss an episode, will you?
CHRISTIAN Absolutely not!
WIFE Food's here!
...Can you get me a drink too? Cheers.
Christian puts his legs up, looking as scruffy as possible. His wife comes back with a bag in one hand and a can in the other.
Thank you, love.
He opens the can and drinks. They start opening the dinner.
WIFE You're welcome...so what do you think?
CHRISTIAN (after a belch) About what?
WIFE The letter.
CHRISTIAN Oh right...yeah. Well, it's all right, isn't it?
WIFE Bit odd, though. Don't you think?
CHRISTIAN Well yes, but there are odder things in this world.
WIFE That's true.
CHRISTIAN Nobody's happy with being on the fence any more. Everybody's got to be different. Quirky.
WIFE It was quirky all right.
Pause. The Wife examines the letter.
Oh, there's more.
WIFE Yes. It says -
CHRISTIAN Not now, love. I'm eating my dinner.
CHRISTIAN Go on then.
WIFE (continues to read) 'Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.'
They listen. Start to mock.
CHRISTIAN Are you there Mr Amen?
WIFE Oh faithful and true witness?
CHRISTIAN Sorry mate, there's not enough to go round.
WIFE And the house is filthy.
CHRISTIAN Any excuse not to cook!
WIFE Me? Never...(she reads) 'Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne'
Pause. He thinks...he shrugs.
CHRISTIAN That's nice but we don't want to interfere, do we? That's His seat. I know we have our differences, but He earned it. Anyway I'm quite comfortable here thank you.
He shuffles himself on the sofa.
WIFE Yes, that's true. He doesn't like to keep things all for Himself, does He?
CHRISTIAN It gets tiring really.
WIFE (finishing reading)...'Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.'
CHRISTIAN Good. Very nice. Can I get back to my programme now?
WIFE Well what do you think?
CHRISTIAN About what?
WIFE The letter.
CHRISTIAN Oh right, the letter, of course. Well it's er...well I don't know. It's a bit odd, isn't it?
Beat. She shrugs and folds up the letter. Then starts to eat, watching the t.v. After a while, he pauses the t.v. and sits up.
CHRISTIAN Hang on.
CHRISTIAN What was that last bit?
CHRISTIAN In the letter. What was the last bit?
WIFE Erm...(she checks)...'Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches'
CHRISTIAN Yeah...yes I thought that's what you said.
Christian puts the t.v. Back on and puts his feet up. Taking a swig from his can.
© Jonathan Boustead 2010
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